The moment I landed in Paris yesterday, I turned my phone on and looked up the latest Balenciaga runway images. The suspense was killing me. For Alexander Wang to successfully and seamlessly fuse his athletic aesthetic with Balenciaga’s classical silhouettes is no easy feat. There is definitely more Wang in this second collection; clearly, he got more comfortable with injecting his own sporty ease in the curved and flared party dresses and shapely cropped separates. But I, of course, was most interested in the bags.
It came as no surprise that the young designer showed more structured bags for this sophomore collection, which provide a refreshing contrast to the exaggerated fluidity of the ready-to-wear. But in Wang’s world, structure doesn’t mean somber. With bold double-bar handles, these bags come with a sense of playfulness. (Unlike the Le Dix, which does read on the serious side.) Some sport in-your-face crocodile-skin texture, which is especially appealing in pristine white; others exude quintessential spring in pale pastels of smooth leather. Wang has wisdom beyond his years, and clearly he knows this old idiom: Slow and steady wins the race.